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August 06, 2010 10:18 AM

Officials: Progress Made On Sewage Situation


Officials with the City of Sioux Falls say great progress has been made to remedy a situation which threatened thousands of homes with sewage backups.

A pipe failure Wednesday led to an order for residents in western and central Sioux Falls to restrict their water usage in hopes of relieving pressure on the sanitary sewer system.  Thousands of homes in the central part of town faced the potential for sewage to backup in basements, according to officials.

Public Works Director Mark Cotter says residents should still conserve water; however, businesses limiting restroom usage no longer need to do so.  A second bypass pipe will be in place by the end of the day and will be able to handle more wastewater, according to Cotter.

Officials say this temporary solution, which allows them to stop sending sewage into the Big Sioux River, will be in place until permanent repairs are made.  While some sewage is still being released into the Tuthill area, crews expect to be able to stop that by Friday afternoon.

Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether says the City is doing everything it can to help homeowners with the problems they've faced due to the issue, including guiding residents through the claims process.

"When you need Sioux Falls' help, we'll be with you," Huether said.

The landfill will continue to run on extended hours as the clean up continues.

In addition to conserving water, the City is asking residents to not use sprinklers for the next few days to help dry out the saturated ground.  This order does not affect drinking water, as it remains safe to drink.

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